Foster William Irish

Male 1894 -

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  • Name Foster William Irish  [1
    Born 10 Oct 1894 
    Gender Male 
    Book Reference 1151  
    • Obituary: Oconomowoc Enterprise, October 15, 1981, Section 1, page 4. Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

      " Foster W. Irish - Foster W. Irish, 86, died Thursday, Oct. 9, at his home in Venice, Fla. Burial will be at Memorial Park Cemetery in Skokie, Ill., today (Thursday, Oct. 15). Irish was born Oct. 10, 1894 in Madison, the son of The Rev. James William and Grace Cleghorn Irish. He attended Chippewa Falls High School, Lawrence University and the University of Wisconsin. He was a member of the Founder's Club of Lawrence University. He served as an Army officer in France in World War I, and was a member of the American Legion, Masons, Elks, the Sheboygan Methodist Church and Sheboygan Yacht Club. He was married June 17, 1920, to Minda Johnson, who preceded him in death. They resided in Hartland from 1925 to 1939 where he was a member of the banking community. Irish is survived by his wife, Fayne Bell Irish, formerly of Oconomowoc who now resides in Sheboygan and Venice, Fla.; his son, Donald William Irish (Patricia), Sheboygan, and Long Boat Key, Fla.; his step-daughters, Kathryn Sims (John D.) Martin, Oconomowoc and Caroline Sims (Wm. Max) Coon of Oakland, Ill.; his sisters, Mrs. Marie (Ward P.) Kessler, and Mrs. Eleanor Baum of California; ten grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren. Memorials to the Sheboygan Retirement Home or the American Cancer Sociey are suggested."
      Notes: Foster was buried beside his first wife, Minda Johnson Irish in Skokie, Illlinois.

      Oral history taken by Kathryn Sims Martin re Foster William Irish's recollection of his life and relatives. August 1971 :

      Foster had an amazing mind for detail and numbers. He was able to recall check book balances from decades earlier. I have no doubt that the information he gave was accurate.
      Schools attended:
      Chippewa Falls High School Senior Class President, newspaper editor.
      1913 - 1915 Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin
      1916 - 1916 University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
      Residences: Madison, Wisconsin
      Black Earth, Wisconsin
      Mazomanie, Wisconsin
      Evanston, Illinois During Spanish-American War,
      Resided on Simpson Street
      Richland Center, Wisconsin 1902 - 1905
      Ashland, Wisconsin 1905 - 1906
      Sister Marie was born.
      LaCross, Wisconsin 1906 - 1908
      Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin 1908 - 1914
      Sister Elinor was born Resided on Stanley Street

      Eau Claire, Wisconsin 1914 - 1920
      Attended school, worked in Eau Claire Bank
      Madison, Wisconsin 1920 - 1922
      Blanchardville, Wisconsin 1922 - 1925
      Hartland, Wisconsin 1925 - 1939
      Evanston, Illinois 1939 - 1953 Noye Street.
      Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1953 - 6 months - first wife died.
      Sheboygan, Wisconsin 1954 (March)


      Foster enjoyed telling stories of his boyhood and the many family members who surrounded his growing up. I remember only a few things. He talked about the many moves the family made in his early years due too his father's work, and about the aunts who sometimes lived with the family. In summertime, they "moved" to the country lake, a task which necessitated his walking with the cow for several miles to and from the summer residence. (The number of miles seemed to vary!) He never stopped mourning the death of his younger brother, who as a young man had been a well-known football player and never relinquished his "big brother" feelings for his sisters.

      Foster's interest in things financial served him well throughout the years of his life. His military duty in WW I included delivery of payroll to units in the fields of France. Later he worked in a number of banks through the depression, WW II and the WPA eras, his longest terms of employment being in Hartland, Wisconsin and Evanston, Illinois.

      After the death of his first wife Minda, and at an age when many would be retiring, Foster returned to Wisconsin. There he married Fayne Bell Sims. He embarked on a series of small business financing and start-up projects. He put his decades of previous experience to good use and was always generous with the fruits of his labor.

      Foster was a patriotic man who had strong feelings about politics and various political figures. He was an avid football fan, enjoyed bridge, good company and taking his boat out on Lake Michigan. He spent a good deal of time in his workshop crafting parts for the manufacturers whom he assisted.

      During those last decades of his life he and Fayne spent part of each year in Florida. Except for a throat problem he enjoyed good health and high energy and healed rapidly from a broken hip suffered on a bicycle ride in his eighties.

      From a personal standpoint, I have always felt most fortunate that he so happily and graciously welcomed me and my sister (and later our children) into his life and let us know that he clearly felt that the benefits were mutual.

      Kathryn Sims Martin March 2006

    Person ID I05950  Irish
    Last Modified 3 Jan 2008 

    Father James William Irish,   b. 17 Mar 1868, Big Springs, Adams Co., WI Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Dec 1942, Milwaukee, Milwaukee Co., WI Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years) 
    Mother Grace Elinor Cleghorn,   b. 4 May 1871, IA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 Jul 1934  (Age 63 years) 
    Married 22 Dec 1891 
    Family ID F0570  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Kathryn Fayne Bell,   b. 1907,   d. Abt 1985  (Age 78 years) 
    Family ID F7910  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Minda Louise Johnson,   b. 2 Dec 1897,   d. 8 Oct 1953  (Age 55 years) 
    Married 17 Jun 1920 
    +1. Donald William Irish,   b. 26 Apr 1921,   d. 18 Dec 2000  (Age 79 years)
    Family ID F2339  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. [S007136] Descendants of John Irish 1629-1963, Willis L. Irish.